The de Vincent brothers are back"and so is the intrigue that surrounds them"in New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout"s sizzling new novel…
Nicolette Bresson never thought she"d return to the de Vincents" bayou compound. It"s where her parents work, where Nikki grew up… and where she got her heart broken by Gabriel de Vincent himself. Yet here she is, filling in for her sick mother. Avoiding Gabe should be easy, especially when so much of Nikki"s time is spent trying not to be stabbed in the back by the malicious hangers-on who frequent the mansion. But escaping memories of Gabe, much less his smoking-hot presence, is harder than expected"especially since he seems determined to be in Nikki"s space as much as possible.
Gabriel spent years beating himself up over his last encounter with Nikki. He"d wanted her then, but for reasons that were bad for both of them. Things have now changed. Gabe sees more than a girl he"s known forever; he sees a smart, talented, and heartbreakingly beautiful woman… one who"s being stalked from the shadows. Now, Gabe will do anything to keep Nikki safe"and to stop the de Vincent curse from striking again.Books in Series:de Vincent Series by Jennifer L. ArmentroutBooks by Author:Jennifer L. Armentrout Books
Six years ago . . .
Nicolette Besson was going to die.
She was seriously going to drown herself if the de Vincent brothers didn"t leave the veranda. Like, hold her own head underwater and never come back up, because there was no way in heck she was going to let them see her in her new bathing suit.
She peered over the edge of the pool. There was a good chance the brothers didn"t even know she was in the pool since she was on her knees in the shallow end, hiding like an idiot.
What were they even doing over there, all huddled together, whispering" Knowing them, they were probably up to no good whatsoever.
If her daddy knew they were out here, all crowded together like they were, with Lucian, as always, in the middle of the huddle, he"d say they were up to shenanigans.
Whatever shenanigans meant.
Devlin was the oldest de Vincent, and Gabriel was the middle one. Lucian was the youngest of the brothers, and he was always in trouble. Always. Especially since their momma died and their sister disappeared. Devlin and Gabriel looked just like their father, dark haired and intense, but Lucian and his twin took after their mother.
She really hoped Lucian"s friend wasn"t with them. Parker Harrington gave her the creeps. He was always . . . staring at her. Which was weird, because he wasn"t particularly nice to her. Sometimes he stared at her like she wasn"t worthy to be sharing the same air as him, and other times, he stared at her like . . .
Nikki shuddered, not wanting to think about that.
She bit down on her lip as the cement edge of the pool practically burned her fingers. When were they going to leave" Her mom would be done in the kitchen soon and she"d have to get out of the pool and then they"d see her and she would just die.
Gosh, why in the world did she ever get in this pool" She couldn"t even swim, but everything had been so hot and sticky. And she"d been bored sitting in one of the many rooms in the mansion, not touching anything or going anywhere because Mr. de Vincent was home.
Mr. de Vincent didn"t like noise of any kind, and all Nikki did was make noise. Lots of it. Sometimes she just got excited and forgot where she was. Sitting quietly was not how she wanted to spend her summer vacation from school. Ugh. They had"
Lucian suddenly threw his head back, laughing wildly. The sound startled her and she felt her lips twitch. Lucian had the best laugh. It always sounded like he was seconds away from something crazy happening"something that would most likely upset his father and make her parents shake their heads fondly.
What were they doing"
Her gaze shifted to Devlin. He was standing there, staring at Lucian with a blank face. Gabe was grinning, though, and shaking his head while Lucian made weird gestures with his hands.
Gabe was always grinning.
Nikki wondered if Gabe had brought her any spare wood back from his workshop. He hadn"t in a while and her fingers were itching to make use of the new woodcarving set her parents had gotten her for Christmas. She was just learning how to make beads out of the wood, the hollowed-out kind she could force string through to make a necklace or bracelet. She could ask Gabe now, but then he"d see her in the pool, and she couldn"t let that happen.
If there was one person she did not want to see her in her bathing suit, it was Gabe.
Inching over the floor of the pool, she was careful and quiet as the water steadily rose around her. A sudden gust of wind rocked the patio umbrella and the scent of roses from the nearby garden surrounded her. The sky was starting to turn gray and mean looking toward the south. A storm was coming. Great. Maybe she wouldn"t have to drown herself. Maybe she"d get lucky and lightning would take her out.
Because she was not letting them see her in her stupid, too-big one-piece Mom bought from the local Kmart.
The de Vincents were like three brothers to her"older brothers. Like waaay older. Well, Gabe and Lucian treated her like a sister. Not Devlin, though. He acted like she didn"t exist, and that was just fine by her, because Devlin didn"t like noise either and he never smiled. Like ever.
Even though Nikki had just turned sixteen, she wasn"t even sure how she felt about boys other than the fact she found most of them annoying. She heard her momma once telling her daddy that she was a late bloomer. Nikki rolled her eyes. She wasn"t a stupid flower or something.
But the de Vincents were different. They weren"t boys in any real sense of the word. And everyone Nikki knew found them attractive. After all, her best friend"s older sister had supposedly hooked up with Lucian and was now totally obsessed with him.